2017-2018 Academic Year and Summer 2017 Applications Now Available!

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For guidance on the 2017-2018 application,
watch a step-by-step video by following this link.


Indigenous Education, Inc. promotes The Cobell Scholarship’s goal to provide applicants and inquirers with the most beneficial information regarding this carefully established scholarship opportunity.

Our History

Learn more about the history behind the Cobell vs. Salazar litigations and the ultimate example of unwavering dedication, hard work and victory against all odds.

Elouise Cobell

In 1996, banker Elouise Cobell became the lead plaintiff in a class action suit, demanding back payment and better accounting on Individual Indian Money Accounts managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs. Thirteen years later, the federal government settled for $3.4 billion, the largest settlement in U.S. history.


The Cobell Scholarship is administered by Indigenous Education, Inc. whose growing staff of individuals are committed to the overall success of the program and each awarded recipient.

Melvin Monette-Barajas President and Executive Director

Bridget Neconie Director of Scholarships and Programs

Mary Jane Cordova Office Manager

Maloni Fox Communications Coordinator

Julia Mosconi Engagement Coordinator


  • I am graduating from the University of Texas at Arlington with a Bachelor's of Science in Nursing on December 15, 2016. I strongly believe I would not have accomplished this major milestone in my life without the support of Cobell Scholarship. The Cobell Scholarship provided me with the additional financial resources which assisted in covering tuition costs and nursing school expenses, thus allowing me to stay focused on my studies. With the help of the Cobell Scholarship and obtaining my Bachelor's of Science in Nursing, I am now able to continue my Grandfather's legacy of compassionate nursing almost 100 years after his passing. Thanks to the support received from the Cobell Scholarship, I hope to make a positive impact on reducing health disparities for all of the Great Spirit's children. 

    Garrett Hall
  • I am graduating in May from Humboldt State University with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work. I am very thankful for all the support received from the Cobell Scholarship while obtaining my degree. The Cobell Scholarship has helped tremendously in my academic success and assisted in achieving my goal. I am a first generation college student; and with me about to receive my degree I feel that I am helping pave the way for other Native youth in my community.

    April Davis
  • I will be graduating Summa Cum Laude this semester with a BS in Public Service and Public Policy w/ an emphasis in American Indian Studies and obtaining a certificate for Leadership and Ethics from the college of Public Service and Community Solutions. I intend on returning in the Spring of 16'-17' to obtain a concurrent MPA and MS in American Indian Studies. I'm presently working fulltime as a fire captain for so my hands are pretty busy.

    K. Sanderson


Indeed there is strength in numbers. Here is a look at some past and present strong recipients of the Cobell Scholarship. To suggest a student profile, email scholarships@cobellscholar.org.

“I am a first generation student in my entire family to attend college. I am a proud devoted mother of five highly talented children. I am a full-time student in at the United Tribes Technical College pursuing my A.A.S Business Administration degree. I recently completed my 2016 Spring & Fall Semester at UTTC with honors on the “President’s List” recognizing a 4.0 grade point average. I highly value my family, quality time with my children, educational goals and my spirituality in our “Creator” with respect for our “Mother Earth”. I am an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe descending from the Hunkpapa Lakota Sioux. I was raised on various reservations throughout North and South Dakota during my early childhood. In my teen years, I grew up in the urban environments of Minneapolis, MN. I feel like an asset to my tribal college because of my diverse experiences of living a Rez-life and academic achievements in multiple urban American Indian Centers.

A huge significant challenge in my life has been the lack of sufficient supportable resources to ensure my best performance in all my academic endeavors since early childhood education. Specifically, my greatest challenge has been sufficient childcare for my children, but now my oldest children are in high school and are fully supportive of my goals. After raising my children on a strong foundation, I can now finish my dream of attaining a college degree and motivate my children to pursue their dreams through their education.
One of my main purposes in returning to college is primarily because I always wanted to earn a degree before my first child graduated high school. My son is now a junior in high school and I can finally see my dreams of earning a degree are a reality in the pursuit. I am exemplifying success in my college goals to encourage my children to attend a college. I have experienced multiple struggles as a low-income motivated mother. Therefore, I am assured that earning a degree will help secure economic stability and support educational growth for future generations.
I selected earning an Applied Associates in Business Administration as my field of study because I feel passionate about business as my career field. My previous employment positions entailed most of the same job responsibilities that I learned in short term training programs offered by American Indian OIC School of Business. With AIOIC, I acquired certificates in Small Business Ownership, Customer Service, Workforce Investment and Travel Counselor. I want to earn my A.A.S. in Business Administration and move onward to attaining my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Degree.
I plan to use my bachelor’s degree to enter into a law school that offers tuition waivers for Native American Students.
By achieving financial help from the Cobell Scholarship, I will be able to focus on my educational goals and maintain my 4.0 grade point average because I will not need to seek alternative methods of income. For my Native American community involvement, I am currently a Native American honors student on the President’s List at UTTC. I was recently nominated by my academic advisor to represent UTTC at the “2017 American Indian Higher Education Consortium Conference”. I was selected by Indigenous Inc. as a Featured Cobell Scholar for February 2017. We attend the Three Affiliated Tribes Boys and Girls Club on UTTC campus. My family participates in monthly “American Indian Community Visioning” meetings sponsored by the “Sacred Pipe Resource Center”. We donated various baked goods to the “Children’s Dwelling Wakanyeja Oti” childcare bake sale. Our input and attendance in these meetings promotes the sustainability and success of these programs geared to serve Native American families.

As for some of my extracurricular activities, I work out with my kids at the YMCA every morning before school begins. We bead our own jewelry and together we prepare family meals. In my free time, I read enlightening literature, watch educational documentaries and tutor my children. By pursuing my educational goals, I affect my local tribal college community in positive ways by exemplifying success in my objectives. In support of future generations, for 2016-fall semester my high schoolers have a 3.0 GPA, while my youngest daughters are on the gifted & talented student list and received the following awards: 1st Place State Science Fair/Wo Lakota Respect/Hoop Shoot Challenge/Cooperative Skills Challenge.

The skills I am gaining from my education include community involvement, business ethics, written/verbal communications, and wisdom. I plan to reciprocate the support and knowledge I receive from my education by sharing my successful testimony to encourage others to achieve their dreams through education. I am thankful to be an eligible applicant of your gracious scholarship opportunity. In the future, I hope to lead a program that will make donations to Native American scholarships.”


“My name is Gabriel Cortez; I am Diné (Navajo) and Hispanic from Aztec, NM. My clans are Tł’izi Łani nishlii Naakaiił Báhi báshishchiin. Tó’aheedlinii dashicheii Naakaiił Báhi dashinali. I am proud to be considered a Cobell scholar and be among this outstanding group of Native students from around the country. I am a Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. I am in the Community-Oriented Public Health Practice (COPHP) program just starting my second quarter of my first year. This program is unique because it is a problem-based learning curriculum that is both challenging and rewarding in the practical skills we develop.

Very early on, my parents stressed the importance of family, education, and culture. My parents never had the privilege to attend college, so to them, education was an opportunity for my brothers and me to succeed in Western society. My parent’s teachings instilled in us, resiliency, something we continually use when facing adversity in our lives. I am the youngest in my family, the first to graduate from college and to pursue a Master’s degree. I use the knowledge from my parents, family, mentors, and friends to continue my path in higher education and will use this knowledge to give back to my community.

In addition to being a Cobell Scholar, I am an NW Native American Research Center for Health (NARCH) Fellow, and more recently awarded the UW School of Public Health’s Rattlinggourd Scholarship and will be featured in the UWAlumni magazine in a few months. I am honored and humbled to know there are opportunities like these for young Native students to succeed in higher education, and ultimately lead by example for the next generation.”

“My name is DeAnna Williams and I am a part of the Tiger/Kernell family. My tribe is the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, but I live in Florida. I am currently attending the University of Nebraska-Lincoln studying in Biological Systems Engineering with an emphasis in Biomedical Engineering. My goal when I chose this major was to create better prosthetics in order to help those with diabetes who become amputees, I have seen this a lot in my family so I hope to make theirs, and others life, much easier.”

“Ya’a’t’ééh (Hello). I am Dinè (Navajo) from Salina Springs, Arizona. My clan is Big Water, my paternal clan is Red Bottom clan, my maternal grandparent’s clan is Red Running into Water clan, and Towering house clan is my paternal grandparent’s clan. I grew up as an only child raised by my mother and extended family on the reservation and off the reservation. I recently received my Masters in Clinical Science from the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora, CO. I received my B.S in Biology from the University of Arizona in 2012. I have been conducting research since 2009 and will be applying to pursue a MD/PhD degree in the near future. My goal is to serve my people by direct patient care and investigate the causes of heart disease among Native communities so that treatments are readily available.
As an undergraduate, I explored all avenues of science by performing research in a cardiovascular laboratory. My experience there only fueled my passion for medicine and also sparked my interest in bridging the knowledge gained from bench research to translate to the clinical setting. Over the past four years, I studied the genetic inheritance of human cardiomyopathy gene mutations. I investigated heart muscle disease phenotypes using DNA sequencing, various lab techniques, computational analysis, and zebrafish models to understand the underlying molecular mechanisms. Soon after I graduated, I accepted a job working at the Center for American Indian and Alaskan Native Health on campus as a professional research assistant. My role will allow me to work with other Native researchers investigating all types of diseases affecting Native people’s across the U.S. I am fortunate to be learning a new way of performing research as it is not done in the laboratory. The current health issues affecting the reservation not only need constant attention and awareness, but also the best methods for treatment in a culturally respectful manner. That is why I am dedicated to becoming a Navajo physician-scientist studying and combatting heart disease among Native communities. Axe’hee (Thank you).”

“Hello! My name is Heather Neaman, and I am a Shoshone-Bannock tribal member from the Fort Hall Reservation. I am the daughter of Leo and the late Barbara Neaman, who was a prominent figure on our reservation. It is important I acknowledge my mom, as she has shown me how to be a compassionate person with drive and ambition. Her zeal for life and people drove me to the profession I am pursuing. I am currently in the Master’s in Counseling Program specializing in School Counseling at Idaho State University. I wanted to become a School Counselor because children are the most important thing to our world and our future. If they are molded at an early age they will be successful. I want to be part of the growth and success of our children. I have interned at a middle school and an elementary school as a School Counselor, as well as with adult individuals at Health & Welfare. I will intern at two high schools this spring as a School Counselor. I am a member of Chi Sigma Iota, the Counseling Academic & Professional Honor Society. I was recently honored with the Dr. Stephen S. & Susan Feit Scholarship, which awards one individual in the program who shows exceptional performance of a counselor-in-training in regards to the development of the counseling profession. This award is intended to recognize an individual reaching beyond the typical expectations of a graduate student in counselor education. I believe I was given this award because of my dedication to my commitment to promote mental health.”

“Kyle Francis Racine is a 32-year-old, considered non-traditional student, that has just finished his first full semester in a 2-year Diesel technology program at Helena College University of Montana. He has always enjoyed making things work through hard work and using his knowledge to solve the problem that he is confronted with. So going to college was always a consideration for him but life always seemed to have something else in store for him. Finally, at the beginning of 2016 he took the leap of faith and enrolled in college. His pride in joy is his family which consists of his wife and two beautiful children whose support has made the transition from a full time worker to full time student and part time worker not only a possibility but a reality. Since the start of the first semester he has already earned 15 certifications in his area of study. His grades reflect the dedication and time he has put into the program thus far, which are soon to be posted but as of mid-term he was carrying A’s across the board. Being humble and thankful for what life has given him shows through his work and schooling. In the end what he does is to show his children that you can do anything you set your mind to and to give his family the stability he never thought possible.”

Hello, my name is Linda Scabby Face. I am an Oglala Sioux tribal member from the Pine Ridge reservation, and I have two beautiful children. I am majoring in Office Technology and Information Technology. My career goal is to work in an environment where I can help a company achieve its goals and objectives; whilst achieving my own personal growth and career development. Technology fascinates me so much that I would like to have a Master’s in Information Technology by the time I am finished with my schooling; to help me to develop my own computer company. Technology is constantly growing and we need to look ahead of ourselves. The knowledge that I acquired while pursuing my educational journey would definitely help me teach our younger generation about the technology that is around us. I want the future generations to be passionate about education, and learning about technology as I am. The achievements I have completed while continuing my education is becoming the Student Organization Senator for the second time and the Student Senate Secretary/Treasurer, competing in the AIHEC 2016 Knowledge bowl, and becoming a peer mentor for the Oglala Lakota College.

“My name is Phillip White Sr. I am a member of the Confederated Salish Kootenai Tribe and a first generation college graduate. Obtaining two associates degrees from Salish Kootenai College was a challenge. A challenge that prepared and enabled me to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Higher education is important; it enriches not only our lives, but the lives of others. It is valued by so many people that there is a network which stretches around the globe of people who will support you every step of the way. Making the choice to go to college Is a big decision and can be challenging at times; but you can do it. I say that with confidence because I know there are people who work hard every day to ensure: One, that we have the opportunity to obtain higher education; and two, that we are successful in every one of our academic endeavors.”

Frequently Asked Questions

For all other questions that are not answered here, please email scholarships@cobellscholar.org.


Cobell Scholarship information is categorized into four (4) areas with a PDF for each area available for printing: Scholarship Program Myths and Facts, General Eligibility Criteria,  General Scholarship Application Information, and Information for Finalists. These will be links to PDF’s

The Cobell Online Application & Scholarship Information System (OASIS) also has an FAQ tab for applicant convenience.


The Office of the US Department of Education has a user-friendly informational website containing good information for students, families and community members.  Learn about preparing for college, the variety and types of available aid, qualifications for aid, applying for aid, and information about student loan management.  Click HERE to be redirected to their site. There’s also a useful glossary of terminology HERE.

The College Board has several good tools to help select a college, explore careers, pay for college, get into college(s), and guidance to make a plan.  Information about financial aid can be particularly useful; however, their entire site is recommended and can be accessed HERE.


Both Merit-based and Need-based, the competitive Cobell Scholarship is annual, non-renewable, and available to any post-secondary (after high school) student who is; an enrolled member of a US Federally-Recognized Tribe, enrolled in full-time study and is degree-seeking. Applicants must plan to attend or be attending any nationally, regionally and industry accredited non-profit, public and private, institution.
Applicants must be pursuing a vocational certificate or diploma, associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral or professional degree, or certificate.

All Finalists must demonstrate an unmet need through a process that will be coordinated with the IE staff. And, all Finalists will demonstrate tribal enrollment through a verification process that will be coordinated with the IE staff.

Application questions and other comments can be submitted at the bottom of this webpage.

Verification Processes

A series of verification will be required from applicants who are chosen as Finalists after the review process is completed. The verification includes, but is not limited to: Financial Need Analysis (FNA), Tribal Enrollment Verification (TEV), proof of institutional enrollment (course schedule, etc.), copy of most recent transcript, and a high-resolution/high quality photograph of the applicant.

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Many online resources are available and the Indigenous Education, Inc. staff will work to continuously compile and maintain this list of links that can provide applicants with the most helpful information possible.

To suggest resources for this page, email information to scholarships@cobellscholar.org.

Indigenous Education, Inc. Webinar Series

The Indigenous Education, Inc. Webinar Series is a great tool to help improve your educational experience. Webinar topics range from grad school test prep, to FAFSA tips, to Cobell Scholarship Application Guidelines. New webinars will be shared roughly every month – stay up to date with coming IEI webinars by following the Cobell Scholarship Facebook Page.

COMING SOON: A Series on Healthy Habits 

Financial Aid Resources

Federal Student Aid – Find out how to complete the FAFSA and maintain your federal student aid profile.  Great resources for families as well as individual students.

The American Indian College Fund – The American Indian College Fund provides scholarships to students attending Tribal College and University students, and undergraduate and graduate students attending any other accredited public and non-profit private college all across the United States.

The American Indian Graduate Center – The AIGC provides scholarships to American Indians and Alaska Natives pursuing undergraduate and graduate degrees at accredited institutions as full-time, degree-seeking students.

The American Indian Science and Engineering Society – AISES provides scholarships to students and provides so much more in student leadership, mentorship, involvement and service.

Scholarship Opportunities for American Indian and Alaska Native students is a resources page maintained by the federal Bureau of Indian Education.

Testing for College and Graduate School

The PSAT and SAT are administered by the College Board

The ACT suite of products and services can be found here

GRE – the Graduate Record Exam

GMAT – the Graduate Management Admission Test is administered by the Graduate Management Admission Council

LSAT – the Law School Admissions Test is administered by the Law School Admissions Council

MCAT – the Medical College Admission Test is administered by the Association of Medical Colleges.

PCAT – the Pharmacy College Admission Test is a specialized test that helps identify qualified applicants to pharmacy colleges.

DCAT – the Dental College Admission Test is administered by the American Dental Association.

Other Resource Links

COLLEGE HORIZONS – is a pre-college program for Native American high school students open to current sophomores and juniors.  Each summer students work with college counselors and college admissions officers in a five-day “crash course.”  The individualized program helps students select colleges suitable for them to apply to, get admitted to, and receive adequate financial aid. Students research their top 10 schools; complete college essays, resumes, the Common Application, and the preliminary FAFSA; receive interviewing skills and test-taking strategies (on the ACT and SAT) and financial aid/scholarship information.

GRADUATE HORIZONS – a four-day workshop for Native college students, college graduates, and master’s students in preparing for graduate school (master’s, Ph.D. or professional school).

BIG FUTURE is a program of the College Board designed to help students track their own path to college and career.

Study Public Health, Change the World – find out if Public Health is for you

The public health profession cuts across many different disciplines. Use the SOPHAS Academic Program Finder to search degree programs from over 80 schools and programs.

Pathways to Science is a project of the Institute for Broadening Participation (IBP) . Pathways to Science supports pathways to the STEM fields: science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. We place particular emphasis on connecting underrepresented groups with STEM programs, funding, mentoring and resources.

Contact us at your convenience

The Cobell Scholarship Team is available to address any questions or concerns regarding the scholarship process or other related inquiries. Simply complete and submit the form below.

Indigenous Education, Inc.
The Cobell Scholarship
6501 Americas Parkway NE Suite 825
Albuquerque NM 87110

Direct: (505) 313-0032

Toll Free: (844) 551-0650


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